Social care is hit by NHS deficits

NHS deficits are having knock-on effects on social care, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

A survey of 95 councils found that two thirds were being affected by NHS debts. Forty per cent of the councils surveyed by the LGA said the knock-on effect of the financial pressure in the NHS was worse than ever before.

Half said beds had been closed, and a quarter said there had been a reduction in district nurse numbers. Fourteen per cent said there were increased waiting times for NHS services, while 13 per cent said community hospitals had been closed.

Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, chairman of the LGA, which represents more than 400 councils in England and Wales, said: ‘Health and social care are two sides of the same coin, and the financial crisis in health is having an impact on an already stretched council social care sector.’

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